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On 12.09.2005 there was opened an exhibition of Kazimierz Zagorski's photographs. It's one of the richest in its variety set of photos of colonial Africa and maybe the most interesting study of other cultures in Polish photography.

Kazimierz Ostoja Zagorski was born in 1883 and grown up in Azerbaijan. Before the revolution he was a colonel in Russian air force and probably he get to know more about photography there. After the I World War he moved into Poland with the rest of his family. We don't know why he decided to stay in Leopoldville (Kinshasa now) in Belgian Kongo (now - the Democratic Republic of Kongo) in 1924, where he soon launched photographic studio. He was visiting Poland when the War begun. He went back to Kongo in 1941 and died there three years later.

During his trips in the deep continent (1928-37) Zagorski made a great documentation on Central Africa's cultures. He entitled his two main series (over 400 photos) "Dying Africa". He was sure that European cultures, after more than half an age of colonization, were taking place of traditional African cultures. He took photos of the most beautiful material aspects of culture: houses, hairstyles or scarifications (the scares that are ornaments of a body and inform about social status), dances and traditions. He was trying to leave beyond the cadre the proves of European being, symptoms of changes, manifestations of new cultural aspects. He wanted to show authentic world, Africa that had always lived independent from the history and was going away now...

His photographs are simple and respectful for other cultures. Zagorski was focused on the human being - his portraits are often inspired by modernistic aesthetics and are unconventional as for ethnographic photography. They are evocating note of meeting with another human.

Photos come from private collection on Pierre Loos from Belgia, who has been collecting Zagorski's works for 35 years. There have been already shown in Brussels, Washington and Paris. The exhibition in Zacheta is an occasion to watch them before the collection is separated. The demonstration will be enriched by photos from the family of Kazimierz Zagorski.

The exhibition will last to 16.10.2005

Source: Zacheta

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